Mario Lopez responded to critics who accused him of "code-switching" and downplaying his Mexican heritage to the public.
It all started after a video he posted on his TikTok account went viral. In it, the Access Hollywood host could be seen talking and using slang with a friend while eating ceviche, a traditional Latin American dish.
"I've only heard code switch Mario. I ain't know he was this Mexican," one person tweeted after viewing the video.
ive only heard code switch mario i aint know he was this mexican https://t.co/8oLBG7Y4TT
— fiona (@bigsnugga) November 7, 2023
Another person said they "deadass thought he was whitewashed, damn 😭😭😭."
"Evidently, I'm trending on Twitter," Mario said in a video posted on TikTok on Tuesday. "And apparently, it's because people don't think I'm Mexican. Is that a trick? With a name like Mario Lopez?" he asked rhetorically.
"But you know, they've been thinking I'm everything from Italian to Hawaiian, but I'm not," he continued, laughing. "It's the weirdest thing. I was born in Chula Vista. ... My parents are from Culiacán, Sinaloa."
Mario explained that when he's posting food videos on TikTok, he's usually with "[his] homies" and "just kinda being [himself]."
"I can't be like that on Access Hollywood or on my radio show," he admitted. "I'm tryna cash these checks. I can't be sounding all hood like that. I gotta keep it a little more polished and buttoned up."
He added: "But I think it's funny. Twitter, you wild. You wild out there."
You can watch his full video here.